ISLAMABAD, January 19, 2012: The third sitting of the ongoing Senate session was marked by low attendance of Senators and ministerial absence. Only six senators were present at the start of the sitting while 28 present at the end.
The Federal Minister for Housing and Works was not present during the Question Hour.
The sitting met for two hours and 29 minutes and took up only eight out of twenty-five questions during the Question Hour.
Members spent most of the sitting time raising Points of Order. Twenty-two Points of Order were raised consuming almost half of the sitting time (44%). the sitting. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling. Unless the Chair gives a formal ruling on a Point of Order, it does not contribute to any assembly output.
The Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill, 2011 was deferred till tomorrow due to the absence of the Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs.
The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting, while the Leader of the Opposition was not present.
Following are some key observations of the parliamentary business:
Members’ Participation in House Proceedings
- The Senate met for two hours and 29 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1633 hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1600 hours. The House proceedings started late by 33 minutes.
- The Chairman chaired the sitting.
- The Leader of the House attended the entire sitting while the Leader of the Opposition was not present.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of the PML, MQM, PMLF, PKMAP, NP, PMLN and JWP attended the sitting, while the leaders of the BNPA, PPPS and JI were absent.
- A total of six Senators (6% of total Membership) were present at the start, while 28 (28%) were present when the sitting was adjourned.
- Six Members applied for leave to be absent.
Representation and Responsiveness
- Twenty-five questions were listed for the Question Hour. However, only eight questions were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- The relevant minister – Federal Minister for Housing and Works– was not present.
- A total of 24 supplementary questions were raised during the sitting.
- The Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill, 2011 was deferred till Friday, January 20, 2012.
Order and Institutionalization
- Twenty-two Points of Order were raised which consumed an hour and 6 minutes of the sitting time. However, none of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- ANP Members staged a walkout protesting against the sacking of the KESE employees. The walkout lasted three minutes.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of Quorum was not pointed out by any of the Senators.
|After successfully observing proceedings of the National Assembly, the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) has started the observation of the provincial assemblies – Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan – and the Senate.
This daily factsheet is based on FAFEN’s direct observation of the third sitting of 77th session of the Senate.
These reports will be released on the day the sittings are held to provide media and other interested stakeholders vital statistics about the Assembly proceedings to encourage informed public discourse on its performance.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of the Senate proceedings conducted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a member organization of FAFEN
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